“And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.”
Silently, a disaster is brewing in Haiti. You probably haven’t heard about it in the news, as it never makes the headlines or television coverage. It affects over six million people, or about two-thirds of the country’s population. And it is getting worse.
Haiti is in a food crisis. We have never seen things so bad here in all the 23 years that we have been living in Haiti. Children are eating from garbage dumps, eating cookies made from dirt, and even being “sold” so parents can feed their other children!
Children are starving to death right before our eyes, and malnutrition and the mortality rate among mothers and infants are extremely high. Chronic malnutrition is seen as the biggest hurdle in improving the lives of over six million desperate people here in Haiti.
In a land that was once considered the richest colony in the world, Haiti is desperately poor today. It fell into this terrible condition for so many reasons: such as slavery, because of politics, social inequality, and many natural and man-made disasters.
It is a tragic tale of how a young, developing nation lost the right to determine their own destiny as an independent country when they gave into the demands of more powerful nations. They were forced to accept outside aid at an exorbitant price. An estimated 82 percent of the rice consumed in Haiti is imported. The rising prices of imported food are pushing the cost beyond the reach for most Haitians. It is a vicious cycle that most poor Haitians will never escape.
This is causing a food shortage in an already troubled country. Agricultural production and urban encroachment on available farmland provides additional challenges for Haiti’s rural population. Only one-in-five farmers depend entirely on farming their own land. Eighty percent of farms fail to produce enough to feed their families.
But Haiti has always been plagued by the wrath of Mother Nature. Climate-related disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes have destroyed much of the land. This was also precipitated by the man-made destruction of Haiti’s environment over the last 50 years. Now, it is the El Niño weather phenomenon that has caused this latest food crisis. There is no rain, so the last two harvests have failed, as people are unable to water their crops. The soil, which has always had a fragile footing in this country, will no longer yield any food.
Food aid is essential to stave off famine in Haiti. The United Nations World Food Program’s (WFP) initial Food Security survey has stated, “that about 1.3 million people living in the affected areas, do not have enough to eat. An additional 600,000 people who had lost their homes were also struggling to meet their basic food needs.”
A severe drought in Haiti has led to drastic water shortages all over the country. The failed harvests and the sharp increase in food prices has destroyed the dwindling food supply and sharply increased hunger among the poor.
Haiti is plunging towards a severe food shortage this year, and we need your help! Our 17-year partnership with Feed My Starving Children will help stem some of the burden of bringing food to these starving people, but we will need to bring more food into our area, and we need more of you to help bring food to Haiti. Many families are already feeding their children Bon Bon Tè (mud cookies) to try to stop their daily hunger pangs. But this will only make their young lives much worse.
To stave off acute malnutrition here, we will need to add more children and their families to our Feeding Program. We have already started to go into uncharted waters such as the Truttier Waste Disposal Dump, near the giant slums of Cité Soleil, the land of Bon Bon Tè—Sapaterre, Goat Mountain and other locations where the people are starving to death. Our Feeding Programs are saving lives every day!
Just the other day we received word that many children in Savaan Pit are so hungry that they are drinking boiled salt water and that is all they have for food. Lack of rain has killed their crops, “our neighbors are starving.” They need your help now!
People often ask us, “What is your greatest burden in Haiti? What drives you each day?” It’s all about “feeding the hungry children.” Each month, we receive a minimum of eight 40-foot shipping containers filled with food to distribute to villages throughout Haiti. For eight containers, it costs us $80,000, or $10,000 each container. We have committed support for two of these containers; one from Joyce Meyer Ministries and one from Pastor Jentezen Franklin. We are asking you to pray that God will meet this need every month.
Please prayerfully consider becoming a partner, as the need is far greater today than ever before.
Your support will save a life!
“Every gift counts and no gift is too small.” Your gift of $20, $50 or any amount would provide hot nourishing meals for hungry children. The “widows mite” is precious in the eyes of Jesus. Please, hear the “cry of the poor,” and “do something” today. And when you do, God will bless you for “considering the poor!” (Psalm 41:1-3)
Please call our office at 239-210-6107 and let a staff member know that you want to help.